Jeffrey LewisREentry Structures Experiment (RESE)

No, that isn’t a typo. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) calls its demonstration of novel structures that can survive re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere—a crucial technology for the Common Aero Vehicle—the REentry Structures Experiment (RESE).

After RESE came second on the Space Experiments Review Board (SERB) list in 2003, Jeremy Singer described the program in Space News:

the Re-Entry Structures Experiment … is intended to examine lightweight materials that can withstand the rigors of atmospheric re-entry, White said. The demonstration features a prototype nose cone that could help pave the way for future re-entry vehicles that could glide through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds to strike distant targets on short notice.

RESE dropped to ninth in 2004, but still seems to be kicking around.

In May 2004, AFRL’s Clay Mayberry gave a talk entitled, “Adaptive, Responsive and Reconfigurable Space Electronics Thrusts at the Air Force Research Lab” to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Future Technologies Conference.

Mayberry described RESE as an opportunity to flight test next generation integrated thermal protection systems.

In September 2004, an AFRL representative (either Russ Partch or Ken Qassim) gave a talk to the 2004 Advancements in Heatshield Technology Symposium about RESE, the Common Aero Vehicle, and Project FALCON.

It isn’t clear if and when RESE will launch, but the NASA Wallops Flight Facility website identifies Libby West as responsible for an “AFRL RESE Study Project.”